News in Brief: Pound falls to seven-year low, CFO appointments, oil prices

News in Brief

Brexit panic knocks pound to seven-year low

The pound tumbled to a seven-year low and the UK was warned its credit rating was at risk as the effect of Boris Johnson’s backing for the Brexit campaign was felt in financial markets.

However, as traders and city economists wagered that the London mayor’s intervention had raised the probability of a leave vote in the EU referendum, high-profile business figures threw their support behind prime minister David Cameron’s push to stay in the EU.

The bosses of some of Britain’s top companies, including easyJet, the defense contractor BAE Systems and Shell, signed a letter backing a vote to stay in Europe, reported the Guardian.

The letter was signed by the heads of about a third of the businesses on the FTSE 100 index of Britain’s largest stock-market-listed companies.

Ascot Lloyd hires SJP finance director as CFO

Ascot Lloyd has hired Iain Balchin from St James's Place (SJP), for the newly created role of chief financial officer.

Balchin was the executive director of finance at SJP for three years, overseeing the transformation of the firm's finance function as it transitioned into the FTSE 100, reported CityWire.co.uk.

Prior to this, he held senior finance positions at BNP Paribas, AIG, Standard Chartered and Credit Suisse. He also previously served as finance director of corporate banking for Lloyds Banking Group.

IEA warns consumers of spike in oil prices

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has warned consumers not to let cheap oil lull them into a false sense of security amid forecasts of a price spike by 2021.

In a report, the IEA said it expects prices to start recovering in 2017, reported the BBC.

But it forecasts that will be followed by a sharp jump in price as supply shrinks following under-investment by struggling producers.

Brent crude touched a 13-year low of £20.50 ($28.88) a barrel in January 2016.

Aston Villa's CFO steps down

Aston Villa's chief financial officer Robin Russell has stepped down from the club's board after nine years.

Mr Russell joined the club in November 2006 to become one of Randy Lerner's first senior appointments, joining at the same time as Richard FitzGerald was appointed chief executive. He also had a short stint as interim chief executive in the summer of 2014 before the arrival of Tom Fox, reported TheBusinessDesk.com.

The club has not announced the boardroom change, but documents filed at Companies House dates his resignation as a director and company secretary as February 11 2016.

The board has recently been bolstered by the appointments of Steve Hollis as chairman and former Bank of England governor Mervyn King as a non-executive director.

Moss Bros appoints new FD

Specialist menswear retailer Moss Bros has appointed Tony Bennett as group finance director and Paula Minowa as chief operating officer.

Bennett, currently finance director at Charles Tyrwhitt, will take over the role from Robin Piggott, who announced his intention to retire in September 2015.

Piggott will step down at the annual general meeting in May 2016 and it is expected Bennett will join the business on 15 August, reported Yahoo Finance.

Bennett has been at menswear retailer Charles Tyrwhitt since 2009, having been head of commercial finance at Selfridges Retail and chief financial officer at Confetti Network.